Recently the chamber had the pleasure of talking to Anna Viinapuu, Economics student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Anna shared with us what the last couple of years in Hong Kong have been like; what got her interested in Hong Kong in the first place, and her plans for the future.

Anna moved to Hong Kong in August 2019 and despite political unrest, Anna describes her first years at university and in Hong Kong as anything but compromised. Anna’s firsts impression of the city was the contrast between real jungle and concrete jungle. Anna also shared what it was like to arrive during the protests:

Anna: it was interesting to gain insight into the political system, what questions are important and how they are dealt with. Of course, there was certain unrest but luckily I managed to avoid the worst of it due to the somewhat peripheral location of my university. The protests did not deter me and I still felt like I wanted to give Hong Kong a chance.

When it comes to her studies (major in professional accounting and minor in China studies) Anna describes the study culture as highly motivational, ambitious, driven, and open. She was positively surprised by how international the community was on campus, making friends from all corners of the world. She also tells us about the slight shock she got when she realised that it is common to study between 12.00-03.00!

We were curious about how someone with seemingly little connection to the city came to consider Hong Kong as a place for further education. Beyond the obvious high standard and strong reputation enjoyed by universities in Hong Kong, Anna shares how she came to consider Hong Kong in the first place.

Anna: during my high school studies at Viktor Rydbergs Gymnasium, Odenplan, I gained more insight into the opportunity to study abroad. I considered the USA but there was something that didn’t feel completely right about the USA for me. I started studying Mandarin, which gave me quite a good understanding of the culture. My teacher was from Hong Kong and everything from the structure of the language to the stories my teacher would tell me about her hometown were very exciting to me. This is what made me very curious about Hong Kong.

From Anna’s first encounter with the language, culture and history to her experience at university and in Hong Kong we were very eager to hear what Anna plans to do in the future.

Anna: I want to stay in Hong Kong or the Greater Bay Area, and would gladly be working for a Scandinavian company. There are already strong connections between Hong Kong and Scandinavia but my ambition is to help build even more.

Lastly Anna gives us advice for those in their early twenties how are curious about Hong Kong.

Anna: Go for it, apply to all the universities that interest you and get ready for a learning experience you won’t forget.